Is Willie Nelson an Orthodox Christian?

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I just noticed this discussion over at the Seventh Sola blog about whether or not Willie Nelson is a Bible-believing Christian. Apparently Willie offered a marijuana offering to Jesus, or some such thing.

I think I can safely settle this. No.

Now, nobody sings “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” better than Willie. But he’s a syncretistic, hedonistic follower of Eastern religions, with reincarnation and the whole mix. He also famously sang, erroneously, that Jesus “turned the stones to bread” in “We Are the World.”

I can’t commend him as a Christian. But I can commend praying for Willie Nelson that God would bless him and that he’d come “to know God, or rather to be known by God” (Gal 4:9). God rejoices over such things.

Plus, wouldn’t it be great to see the man who sings “Whiskey River Take My Mind” coming up out of a baptistery? Stranger things have happened (see Jacob…and Matthew…and Saul of Tarsus…and you…and me…).

Only when we see how lost we are, we can find our way again. Only when we bury what’s dead can we experience life again. Only when we lose our religion can we be amazed by grace again.


About Russell Moore

Russell Moore is Editor in Chief of Christianity Today and is the author of the forthcoming book Losing Our Religion: An Altar Call for Evangelical America (Penguin Random House).